A new model predicts that by the end of February, more than half a million Americans will have died.
It comes as Chris Hipkins introduces a new rule to plug a gap at the border.
The Government has announced new testing requirements for international maritime crew arriving in New Zealand.
There are nearly a million viruses out there waiting to make the jump from animals to humans, experts say.
The Ministry of Health released new case information on Friday afternoon.
The Government has received 65 invoices since it was introduced while 712 cases have been excused.
COVID-19 cases have risen by nearly 25 percent in less than two weeks.
The shearing industry is nervously waiting to find out if it will be able to bring in overseas shearers to help this season.
But Jacinda Ardern has previously said it would be "too risky".